Are you on Instagram? Because I’m having a giveaway of Breaking the Rules to celebrate the 4th of July weekend here in the US.
Link to enter is here.
In other news, it’s been interesting having a half-naked man on the cover of my book. When I brought it with me to my son’s class thinking I could proof it while waiting for him at the coffee shop next door (before the instructor asked me to stay with him the whole time for the rest of the week), I realized that I couldn’t just leave it face up without having to cover his torso with something, my phone, a small notebook… anything.
Maybe it’s just me but it garnered a few weird looks. Worse when I had to return to class and stay with the kid the whole time. Because I couldn’t put it inside my purse, it remained on the table face down the entire time. What’s the point of a cover, eh? But then, the Lego class wasn’t exactly its demographic now, was it?
The coffee shop was a different matter. It got me thinking about how reading romance is basically termed by many as “a guilty pleasure,” one where you wouldn’t necessarily flaunt your book cover just anywhere (or admit you like reading it) compared to, let’s say, the latest literary fiction book.
In many ways, it’s made me appreciate the success of Fifty Shades of Grey, no matter the controversy and criticism surrounding its narrative because it flung the door to “guilty pleasures” wide open—not that reading romance is a guilty pleasure compared to literary fiction; reading should be just that… reading.
I remember giving it the side-eye when I first heard about it and I haven’t seen the movies nor plan to mainly because the main actor, Jamie Dornan, sold me as a cold-blooded serial killer/family man in BBC’s The Fall and I can’t see him in anything else.
I’ve had friends and relatives tell me how they never knew BDSM existed until they read FSOG and wonder why I haven’t read it myself. The two reasons why are 1) because I know BDSM doesn’t work the way FSOG depicts it, and 2) I heard of FSOG when it was a Twilight fan fiction story called Masters of the Universe. It had such a huge following that when it was published by a small Australian press called The Writer’s Coffee Shop, it caught the attention of large publishing houses and in the end, Vintage, a subsidiary of Random House won the bidding war for it. It doesn’t even matter that the author changed only 11% of the material from Masters of the Univers Twilight fanfic, but Vintage considers it original work.
And while E-readers also made it possible for us to read whatever we want to read these days without anyone seeing the cover of the book we’re holding in our hands and judging us, it doesn’t mean we’re that comfortable shouting it on the rooftops that we like to read romances… or erotica or smut. My grandfather, a former mayor and judge, used to rip romance books I brought home from school. He didn’t care if it was something I borrowed from a classmate, it had no place in my life. To him, it was trash and there were no exceptions. It actually took me a long time to read romance and a much longer time to admit that I write them. Even now, on my personal FB page, it’s not something I announce to everyone I know that I write romance. it’s just not something any of my friends from school would even come out and admit that they read my books. Instead, I receive private messages telling me they enjoyed reading about Ashe and Riley or Dax and Harlow.
Maybe that’s just how things are depending on where you’re at…
BUT if you’re on Instagram and want to enter to win a book, go check out out my giveaway. I’ll be giving out more than one because we all know the adage, the more the merrier!